Alvin Ellis Breeden



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Alvin Ellis Breeden Alvin Ellis Breeden, 70, of Earlysville, passed away on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, at the Martha Jefferson Hospital. He was born on August 30, 1942, in Charlottesville, the son of the late Luther Breeden and Vernie Roach Breeden. He was also preceded in death by two brothers, Harold Breeden and Troy Breeden; one sister, Betty Shifflett; and one grandchild, Daniel Shifflett. He is survived by two daughters, Sandra Faye "Sandy" Morris of Earlysville and Tammy Lynn Shifflett and husband, Thurman "TH", of Ruckersville; one brother, Amos Breeden and wife, Audrey, of Earlysville; three sisters, Mavis Collier of Stanardsville, Irene Roche and husband, Hollis, of Earlysville, and Pansy Terry and husband, Steve, of Nelson; three grandchildren, Tonya Sanders and husband, Ian, of Utah, Amy Shifflett of Ruckersville and Jesse Morris and wife, Lydia, of Earlysville; and three great-grandchildren, Isaiah Sanders, Elijah Sanders and Reagan Morris. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at Preddy Funeral Home Chapel in Madison conducted by Pastor Eddie Dean. The interment will follow at Pine Ridge Church Cemetery in Earlysville. The family will receive friends from 4 until 8 p.m. on Friday, March 1, 2013, at the funeral Home. At an early age, Alvin acquired a passion for bluegrass, which led to his mother teaching him the "claw hammer style" of banjo at the age of ten. By the time he was sixteen, he was playing professionally with Bob and Cindy Dean. It wasn't long before he had a band of his own, The Virginia Cutups, which played for thirty years. During his musical career he played with such well-known musicians as, Jim Orange, Ralph Stanley and Don Reno, and was invited to tour with Bill Monroe. Alvin, along with the great fiddler, Scottie Stoneman, were honored for their achievements by receiving more awards than anyone in Bluegrass at that time. Song writer, Paul Craft, wrote the song, "Fastest Grass Alive, in Alvin's honor, and it was recorded by The Osborne Brothers. Alvin was entered into the Piedmont Fiddlers Association Hall of Fame in 2001. Alvin inspired and mentored so many people throughout his many years in music. His fan base spanned the globe from as far away as Sweden, Japan and England. After fifty-two years of doing what he loved, the "rigors of the road" lead him into retirement.

This obituary was originally published in the Daily Progress.

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I never knew Alvin as the musician, I was instead thankful enough to know him as the grandfather, father, brother and friend. He welcomed me into the family like it was my birthright, after marrying his granddaughter. His sense of humor and love for his family was one of a kind. Save me a Schlitz Alvin! You will be greatly missed!

Alvin enriched the lives of so many people and will be deeply missed by all who knew him. As we comprehend this profound loss, let ourselves cry, knowing each tear is a note of love rising to the heavens..

my condolences and prayers go out to Alvin's a younger,learning banjo picker Alvin set marks for me to reach for.not only how to play but how to present myself.i'm still in peace Alvin

Sorry to hear of Alvin's passing. He will be missed by those that knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

I went to visit your grave today. Seems unreal you aren't sitting in your chair watching tv calling me several times a day. I miss those calls and just hearing your voice. I cry when the mail comes because I always called to tell you to go get yours. I miss you much, dear brother.

Your sister,

He will be missed by more than he knows. No one could play like he could. We will miss that music and his friendship.

I will greatly miss my last brother. We praise God for Eddie Deane and the wonderful message and the times he spent with Alvin. Tammy, T.H., Amy, Sandra, Tonya and Jesse, you will be in our prayers as we all adjust. We praise God for the promises in His Word -Praise God we will see him again!!!

May God Bless and comfort all the family. I cherish and appreciate all the fun times we had pickin together. I owe Alvin so much for everything he taught me about music over the years. As a "green" 17 year old when I started with the Cutups, I could hardly keep up with his banjo picking. But he never criticized, just encouraged! He was always an inspiration. He was like a second Dad to me, Love You Buddy, Rest in Peace.

What a beautiful service today for Alvin Breeden. Eddie Dean's message was very uplifting and you could tell he was a man of the cloth. God bless the families of this dear talented musician.

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